PLAN

Prepare for travel in avalanche terrain

RECOGNIZE

Signs of what avalanche terrain looks like

LEARN

The skills of effective avalanche rescue

AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course

Steamboat Powdercats offers AIARE (The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) Level I avalanche courses typically in early January.

The AIARE Level 1 avalanche course is designed as an introductory “stand-alone decision-makers course” for those planning on traveling and recreating in avalanche terrain. Our instructors are AIARE trained and qualified. The 24 hours of course work focuses on the basic skills necessary to manage your risk in the winter backcountry.

For the 2020/21 season, we are offering 3 courses:

December 26-28, 2020 this course is full
Jan 1-3, 2021 this course is full

Jan 13-15, 2021 -THIS COURSE HAS SPACE

Click on a date above to inquire or get on the waitlist for that specific course.

For the 20/21 season, these courses will be a blend of online curriculum and online meetings, and then two field days up on Buffalo Pass. We are still working on the logistics for the field days and your instructor will fill you in as we the dates get closer.

INCLUDED

  • Cost is $600/student

  • Instruction

  • Course materials (student manual and AIARE field book)

  • Due to COVID-19 snowcat transportation to and from our course area may not be provided during our course.  As of September 24, 2020 we are working on ways to adjust this aspect of our course. 

  • AIARE certification

  • For more detailed information, course outline and equipment list, please give us a call at (970) 879-5188 or email Eric Deering, at Steamboat Powdercats: eric@steamboatpowdercats.com

NOT PROVIDED

  • Shovel

  • Probe

  • Beacon

  • Skis or splitboard

  • Food (except lots of coffee)

  • We do have beacon, shovel and probes to rent for an additional $20/course. We don’t have AT skis, splitboards or skins to rent here. We suggest using Ski Haus, Backdoor Sports, or Christy Sports in Steamboat Springs if you need to rent these locally.

For those looking for online avalanche education, please goto the Know Before You Go website and learn the some of the basics before you head out into the backcountry.

Know Before You Go

2020/2021 COVID-19 Cancellation Policies:

  • The typical 50% non-refundable deposit is required to make an avy course booking
  • The non-refundable final payment will be required 30 days prior to your course
  • Our traditional cancellation policies apply. We will still be offering our 10% additional Activity Insurance that will cover you for normal cancellation reasons.

If SPC or you have to cancel a course due to a COVID-19 travel restriction, you have the following options:

  • Reschedule for a new course this season or next season, with no change fee. Our booking calendar for 2021/22 will open up on May 1, 2021. Rates may change for next year.
  • Refund of funds paid if the above options are not suitable, minus a 10% administration fee

Outside of 7 days, if you cancel your entire snowcat course for 2020/21 due to COVID-19 illness, you have the following options:

  • Provide us with a doctor’s note confirming a COVID illness with your party
  • Reschedule for a new course this season or next season, with no change fee. Our booking calendar for 2021/22’ will open up on May 1, 2021. Rates may change for next year.

Within 7 days, if you cancel your entire snowcat course for 2020/21 due to COVID-19 illness, you have the following options:

  • Provide us with a doctor’s note confirming a COVID illness within your party
  • Reschedule for a new course this season or next season with a 20% change fee. Our booking calendar for 2021/22 will open up on May 1, 2021. Rates may change for next year.
  • If we are able to rebook the cat that you canceled, we will waive the change fee for your rescheduling for next season.

This Level 1 course utilizes the AIARE course curriculum. At the end of the course you will be able to:

• Plan and prepare for travel in avalanche terrain
• Recognize avalanche terrain
• Describe a basic framework for making decisions in avalanche terrain
• Learn and apply effective companion rescue

It is a starting point for anyone thinking of getting into backcountry skiing and riding. It’s also great for those who have already have backcountry experience, but have yet to truly hone their snow safety and rescue skills.

This three-day avalanche awareness course will introduce the avalanche phenomena (8-hours for 3 days).

This is more than an avalanche course as it will educate you to planning and preparation for travel in avalanche terrain, human factors, terrain recognition, “red flag” observations, terrain selection, travel techniques and basic companion rescue.

The goal will be to provide you with basic hazard management skills using rule based tools in combination with introductory knowledge based decision making tools…i.e. you will learn a lot!

This is a stand alone course and provides participants an into to future avalanche instruction like the Level 2 AIARE course. 

We utilize our snowcats to get quickly into our study areas in the field, thus maximizing our time to learn from the snow. Once out there, we will be traveling to different areas to get a varied picture of avalanche terrain and snow pack. And of course, we’ll do our best to get a few turns in as well!

Buffalo Pass, located just north of the Steamboat Ski Area across Fish Creek Canyon, and is where Steamboat Powdercats has been operating our snowcat skiing tours since 1983.

BUFF PASS

This experience is for private cats only, from February 1st until the end of the season. Instead of finishing at 3:45 pm, we extend the tour to 4:45 pm and cat ski in the magic light of the Alpenglow.

ALPENGLOW